Principles of Sustainability

Principle One

Interdependence, participation, providing information, and improving science

We all need to recognize our economic, ecological and social interdependence on a global scale and understand and respect differing economic and social views, values, traditions and aspirations. We are all caretakers of the economy, the environment, and social well-being for the benefit of present and future generations. Today’s decisions must be balanced with tomorrow’s effects. A participatory process on all scales of decision making is vital to community sustainability. Such a process engages all the people who have a stake in the outcome of the decision being contemplated. It encourages the identification of concerns and issues, promotes the wide generation of ideas for dealing with those concerns, and helps those involved find a way to reach agreement about solutions.



Promote Interdependence by being mutually responsible for and sharing a common set of principles with others
Interdependence is a dynamic of being mutually responsible to and sharing a common set of principles with others. This concept differs distinctly from "dependence" in that an interdependent relationship implies that all participants are emotionally, economically, and/or morally interdependent. A vision of sustainability does not focus solely on environmental issues. More broadly, issues of sustainability encompass economic, environmental, social and human needs. Within this vision also include solutions that are long lasting, supportive of research, and involvement by all.

1.2 Be informed about the impact that each one of us has on a global level
Individuals should cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. In view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, individuals have common but differentiated responsibilities. The responsibility that we bear in the pursuit of sustainability in view of the pressures we place on the global environment, and of the technologies and financial resources we all command must be acknowledged.
1.3 Natural resources should be protected and managed for those that cannot do so themselves
The environment and natural resources of people under oppression, domination and occupation should be protected.
1.4  We should encourage and facilitate refinement of and access to information
We should encourage and facilitate the improvement and refinement of information, and promote the opportunity for equal and timely access to information by all. This results in the production and dissemination of important, relevant information, fosters a sense of community, produces ideas that may not have been considered otherwise, and engenders a sense of ownership on the part of the community for the final decision.
1.5 We should work to improve scientific and technological knowledge through innovation
Individuals should cooperate to strengthen sustainable development by improving scientific understandings through exchanges of scientific and technological knowledge, and by enhancing the development, adaptation, diffusion and transfer of technologies, including new and innovative technologies.
1.6 We should encourage and facilitate public awareness, and involvement with relevant issues
Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. Facilitation and encouragement of public awareness and participation should be accomplished by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided.

In order to protect the environment the precautionary approach should be widely applied 
In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.


The Principles of Sustainability

The following list of principles is an attempt to provide a set of principles for sustainability applicable at all scales; global, national, regional, local and by the individual. 



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